The Northwestern Chinese American Association of Greater Washington (NCAAGW) has been the key partner in establishing Montgomery County’s third Sister City. In 2012, NCAAGW’s Nan Qiao and Sabrina Hsu accompanied Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Tom Street, County Director of Special Projects Lily Qi, and Shannon Yang on a trip to China that explored the potential of a Sister City with Xi’an. One year later, County Executive Leggett led a large delegation to Xi’an where he signed a Letter of Intent on September 20, 2013. The formal Sister City agreement with Xi’an was signed in 2014.
Best known as the home of the Terracotta Warriors (a World Heritage Site with thousands of sculpted soldiers buried with China’s first Emperor to protect him in his afterlife), Xi’an is a major educational and high technology hub in the northwest of China. Now the capital of Shaanxi Province, Emperors ruled China from Xi’an for one thousand years through several of the country’s most important dynasties. As the eastern terminus of the Silk Road, the people of Xi’an traded goods and ideas with travelers from diverse cultures across the globe.
NCAAGW, serving Chinese Americans with connections to China’s northwestern provinces, is the largest hometown based Chinese American Association in the Washington area. In 2014, NCAAGW members traveled to Xi’an for discussions aimed at coordinating cultural, educational, and economic exchanges and met with Xi’an representatives at the US-China Sister Cities Conference in Washington. On August 12, 2014, under the leadership of President Hui Li, NCAAGW hosted an event at the Rockville Memorial Library with County Executive Leggett to celebrate the formal signing of the Sister City agreement. NCAAGW facilitated ten day trips to Xi’an by teenagers from Montgomery County in July of 2013 and 2014.
China (population 1,386,000,000)
c. 1100 BC
319 square miles (urban)
3,854 square miles (sub-provincial city)
Buddhism, Christian, Muslim, and Taoism
Renminbi Yuan (CNY)
China Standard Time (CST) (UTC+8)
Equipment manufacturing, tourism, technology, and software outsourcing
Councilmembers Hans Riemer and Roger Berliner with County Executive Ike Leggett, Xi’an Mayor Dong Jun, and Sister Cities International President Mary Kane after signing Letter of Intent in Xi’an on September 20, 2013
Xi’an University professors visited in December of 2014 as part of the university’s partnership with Montgomery College’s Global Humanities Institute. County Executive Leggett returned to Xi’an in October of 2017 with a delegation that included Councilmember Craig Rice, Montgomery College President DeRionne Pollard, and Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) President David Petr. Xi’an Mayor Shangguan Jiqing hosted a dinner for the delegation. College and MCEDC representatives met with their Xi’an counterparts while other delegation members toured the Xi’an Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
The Northwestern Chinese American Association showcases the Chinese culture at events around the region with NCAAGW’s Power Drum Team performing in the opening ceremony of the 2014 World of Montgomery Festival.
During COVID- 19, Montgomery County received 20,000 masks from Xi’an, China on June 19, 2020. The masks were shipped to protect Montgomery County frontline workers during the COVID-19 health crisis. “This generous donation from our Sister City Xi’an reinforces the importance of diplomacy and international cooperation during these challenging times,” said County Executive Marc Elrich.
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich sent a congratulatory letter and video to Shaanxi Provincial People's Government to celebrate Shaanxi's 100 Pairs of International Sister Cities conference meeting on Nov. 17, 2021. Montgomery County’s sister cities committee members attended the conference.
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Xi’an Mayor Shangguan Jiqing hosted a dinner for Montgomery County government, business, and community leaders on October 25, 2017.